Archive for August, 2008

More than 16,000 reasons to be proud.

My phone barks…
My Filipino Friend: “Are you watching the opening ceremony of the Olympics?!”
Me: “I’m working out. I Tivo’d it.”
My FF: “ I’m not even Chinese and I’m so PROUD! It reminds me of you and your designs. The attention to every detail…it must be in your blood.”
Me: “Uh, oh-kay.”

My FF came over to watch with me. Almost out of obligation, I pressed play. I was expecting to be embarrassed by the a lot of stereotypical Chinese (operatic) song and dance which, quite frankly, grates on my nerves. Instead, director Zhang Yimou orchestrated more than16,000 performers in what could only be described as a sumptuous, graceful, demanding, precise, magical, and awe-inspiring journey. The clever juxtaposition of surprises and larger than life scale stirred up many unexpected emotions in me.

I don’t often think about being Chinese. As an actor in Hollywood, I get tired of being reminded of my “category”. Like a broken record I ask, “Are they seeing any Asians for the part?” The answer is often, “No.” And if they are seeing Asians…it’s not necessarily a part that I’d want to play. (Yes, we’ve been over this.) And while the state of race in Hollywood is improving, I guess you could say there haven’t been many occasions for me to be proud of my heritage. So even though I had absolutely nothing to do with the Olympics, watching the ceremony helped me reconnect to a very long lost feeling of pride.

I had a meeting with my handbag manufacturer earlier in the week to go over my new designs. He is brilliant, but has to fight me before he admits that my ideas are quite good…and worth his effort.

MF: “You’re pulling too many tricks out of the bag! How can I execute this?!”
ME: “All we have to do is figure it out ONCE. After that it’ll be easy and so many people will be grateful. I can’t budge on this. My whole company is based on these “tricks.” It’s all about the details.

I hope he saw that opening ceremony because, after seeing that show…the sky’s the limit!

Just Do It

To win is to try and succeed,To learn is to try and fail,To lose is not to try at all!